Retailer Kingfisher, owner of B&Q, Castorama, Brico Dépôt and Screwfix, has released a trading update for the first quarter of 2013 (release). The firm saw total sales down 0.4 per cent in the first quarter, with a fall of 4.2 per cent on a like for like basis.
Ian Cheshire, group chief executive, said:
Market conditions have remained challenging in the first quarter compounded by the effects of an early Easter and unseasonably cold weather across Europe. As a result, general footfall was down and demand for outdoor maintenance, gardening and leisure products was adversely affected for a second year running. These impacts were particularly acute in March which resulted in that month accounting for the vast majority of the quarter's profit decline. However, our performance towards the end of the quarter was encouraging following a return to more normal weather patterns.
Looking ahead, we still have our key summer season to come and we are ready to capitalise on any improvement in conditions during this peak trading period. We will continue to focus hard on our margin and cost initiatives helping us to reinforce our value credentials with customers during these challenging times.